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A fantastic presentation by #Ikea on how #printisbig still – the digital age will never quite eliminate the tradition of good old print!
Getting the Most Out of Your Business Cards
Everyone in business needs business cards. They should be professionally designed and printed in high quality. Business cards are an essential form of communication and recognition. When you meet a prospect for the first time, your business card is that first opportunity to make an impression that lasts – and you only have one chance to make a first impression!
Scene on Glass Media has been designing and printing business cards for clients in Wesley Chapel, Zephyrhills and Tampa for over 30 years and, during that time, there have been many changes both in fashion and affordability.
Full color cards are extremely affordable now with the changes in production methods. However, we are seeing an re-emergence in the more ‘traditional’ cards – the less ‘generic’ ones. There are so many options to choose from;
- Full color
- Spot color
- UV Coated
- Raised ink
- Foil embossed
- Foil stamped
- Rounded corners
- Silk lamination
- Custom die-cuts
- Digital -vs- Offset
What’s the Difference Between Digital and Offset Printing?
OFFSET: Advantages in quality and efficiency have made offset printing the most common form of high volume commercial printing since the 1950s. In offset printing the image is burned onto a plate, and then transferred (or offset) from the plate to a rubber sheet (or blanket), and finally to the printing surface.
DIGITAL: Digital printing has been surging in popularity over the last decade due to demand and cost advantages for low quantity runs. Many of the mechanical steps required for offset printing are eliminated which results in a much more affordable print solution.
Which Process Is Better?
That depends on your needs. Do you need it fast or do you want the very best quality available? Do you need a low quantity or a high quantity? Each process has its strengths and weaknesses. Check out the comparison list below to see the differences between each process:
- High Quality Prints
- Typically faster turn-around
- Lower Cost on SHORT RUNS – Typically 1000 or Less
- Color Proof on Job Specific Stock can be made
- Variable Quantities – Need 328 instead of 500? We can do that & you will only pay for what you order.
- Super High Quality Prints
- Typically a little longer turn-around
- Lower Cost on HIGH RUNS – Typically 1000 or More
- Color Proofs (80%-85% Color Accurate) Available for Additional Fee
- Various Coating Options on Most Products
The Basics of Bleed Printing – Bleed is a term that refers to elements in a printed file that extend beyond the edge of the sheet before being trimmed away. Printers usually require 1/8″ extra to cut off.
A Full Bleed
The photo/image or background is extended beyond the edge of the final cut size.
The photo/image or background is reduced to fit within the safe area creating a white border around the printed piece.In this image the file is set up with a full bleed. As you can see, the background extends beyond the line (pink line) indicating where the final trimming will occur.
In this image, there is no bleed.
- The BLEED line (blue line) – This is where the background/image should extend to.
- The CUT line (pink line) – This is where the final cut is made and is the finished size of the product. Anything outside of this line will be cut away.
- The SAFE line (yellow line) – This is the ‘safe’ area. Keep text and important elements within this area to avoid getting trimmed.
“My press can print over 1 million dots per inch (DPI) and you’ve given me an image with just 75 dots per inch – do you have any idea what that will look like in print?”
This was the essence of a comment I read recently.
As a local printer, we frequently have to send artwork back to the customer telling them that the resolution of their images are way too low, with a warning that the final printed image is likely to look blurry and pixilated. I usually ask where they obtained the image and oftentimes I get the answer “from a website”. Of course, if we were to proceed without informing them they would be extremely unhappy with the result and, ultimately the poor quality would reflect on us as the printer rather than on the designer of the file we were provided.
So, what exactly constitutes a high resolution image that is suitable for commercial printing? Take a look at
this articleon how image resolution affects print quality.
So, why would the image look great on the screen but terrible in print? It’s all about the DPI. So next time you think about sending or using an image downloaded from a website, THINK AGAIN! Obtain a good quality original file created specifically for reproduction in print and not for the web.
GRAPHIC DESIGN – WHY IT’S WORTH PAYING FOR A PROFESSIONAL SERVICE
As small business owners we are all aware that we often have to wear multiple hats. However, in the realm of graphic design, there is no ‘one size fits all’ which means that some hats really should only be worn by those who fit them best!
Many of our clients attempt to wear the ‘graphic designer hat’ and, quite frankly, should gently be told that it really doesn’t suit them. Now, there is nothing wrong with learning something new but while some skills are learned and acquired, some are just a gift. Being a graphic designer is a special craft and, while some techniques can often be taught, the skill to produce something that not only conveys the intended message, but does so in the most creative and eye-catching way is something that should generally be left to the experts. I often say, “I can cut my own hair if I wanted to, but I don’t” – I leave it to someone trained in cutting and styling hair. The result of me trying to do it myself could be disastrous leaving me having to live with it for weeks, if not months!! The same goes for printing and graphic design but those disastrous results could prove costly to rectify – certainly much more than the price of a haircut!
Of course, during tough times, if we can do something ourselves to save some money, then often we will try. However, this could be counter-productive. If the end goal is to have the design offset printed in high quality, then it should be created with this in mind and unless you are familiar with commercial printing industry standards for artwork, then perhaps investment in professional help just might save a lot of headaches and valuable time. Remember, your brand represents your business and you only have one chance to make that first impression. Think about this – hand a potential client your business card – this is their impression of you and your business. Personally, if someone hands me a card that quite obviously was printed with one of those cheap perforated templates on a home printer, my first thought is “how much are they going to invest in me as a client, what kind of quality product or service am I going to receive, are they going to cut corners with me to save a few bucks?”
We have provided some resources on our website to help those who insist on trying on the ‘graphic designer’ hat – ‘Color Creator’ and our free downloadable print templates for the most popular business products. Take a look but we do strongly suggest that you read the help files first.
If you do decide that the ‘hat doesn’t fit’ – give us a call and we can loan you ours (real graphic designer that is!)
Color psychology – there is a science to it. Thanks to everyone who took the time to participate in our online survey on the most popular color for our client’s new business cards. This particular client actually chose the green for her business. For her re-branding project therefore, it did concur with the belief that green denotes re-birth and renewal!
And now for the survey result – THE WINNER IS “RED” As you will see from the chart, this was definitely the most popular color among our male respondents.
Now for the psychology bit – each color represents different traits. This is interesting;
The color red is the color of energy, passion and action. It’s is a warm and positive color associated with our most physical needs and our will to survive. It exudes a strong and powerful masculine energy (vindication for the guys who chose red, I guess).
Red is energizing. It excites the emotions and motivates us to take action.
It signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities, promoting ambition and determination. It is also strong-willed and can give confidence to those who are shy or lacking in will power.
The color green is the color of balance, harmony and growth. From a color psychology perspective, it is the great balancer of the heart and the emotions, creating equilibrium between the head and the heart.
From a meaning of colors perspective, green is also the color of growth, the color of spring, of renewal and rebirth. It renews and restores depleted energy. It is the sanctuary away from the stresses of modern living, restoring us back to a sense of well being. This is why there is so much of this relaxing color on the earth, and why we need to keep it that way.
Green is an emotionally positive color, giving us the ability to love and nurture ourselves and others unconditionally. A natural peacemaker, it must avoid the tendency to become a martyr.
The color blue is the color of trust and responsibility, honesty and loyalty. It is sincere, reserved and quiet, and doesn’t like to make a fuss or draw attention. Blue hates confrontation, and likes to do things in its own way.
From a color psychology perspective, blue is reliable and responsible. This color exhibits an inner security and confidence. You can rely on it to take control and do the right thing in difficult times. It has a need for order and direction in its life, including its living and work spaces.
The color purple is the color of the imagination and spirituality. It stimulates the imagination and inspires high ideals. It is an introspective color, allowing us to get in touch with our deeper thoughts.
The difference between violet and purple is that violet appears in the visible light spectrum, or rainbow, whereas purple is simply a mix of red and blue. Violet has the highest vibration in the visible spectrum.
While the violet is not quite as intense as purple, its essence is similar. Generally the names are interchangeable and the meaning of the colors is similar. Both contain the energy and strength of red with the spirituality and integrity of blue. This is the union of body and soul creating a balance between our physical and our spiritual energies.
Does color matter – does color and branding affect the way clients (and potential clients) perceive your business? Is color and branding gender specific?
The short answer is ‘yes’ color and branding most definitely does matter.
Recently a client of ours asked us to redesign her business stationery. She had happily lived with black ink on white stock for many many years. Now, don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with black as long as it is BLACK – crisp and clear and not GRAY. However, with the right choice of color/s for your stationery, you can capture a whole new or different caliber of client.
How so? Well, this client told me that she actually couldn’t make a decision on the three main colors we supplied her with for her proofs. We gave her a bold red, a mid blue, and a purple. She had some interesting results. We then gave her one final color – green, so she had four colors to choose from. She (wisely so) asked each one of her own clients (over a period of a week or so), which color they preferred and why. The results were interesting. See below for the samples. Take a look then take our survey to the right and let us know your preference. We’ll update you on the results later!